Action Alert: Ask Your Senators to Support the Establishment of a Lymphatic Disease Education and Awareness Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Each year, Congress crafts the annual appropriations bills that include funding and recommendations for all federal programs. The Senate is set to work on its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 spending bill for medical research, public health, and professional education programs—The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill—in early June. Before the Senate is a request to establish a $500,000 program specifically for public health activities focused on lymphatic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the FY 2020 LHHS Appropriations Bill. The Senate has many competing funding opportunities and limited resources, but Senators will support this program if they are asked to do so by you, their constituent.
A dedicated lymphatic disease program at CDC would be a timely and meaningful investment of resources for a variety of reasons, including:
- Formal study of the lymphatic system and of lymphatic diseases is virtually nonexistent in the current curricula of U.S. medical schools.
- Uninformed doctors lead to the routine misdiagnosis and under-treatment of lymphatic diseases and lymphedema. In addition, delay and misdirection of treatment results in irreparable physical and psychosocial harm to patients.
Action steps for constituents of Senators on Appropriation Committee listed here:
Republican Members: Shelby, Richard C. (AL), Chairman McConnell, Mitch (KY) Alexander, Lamar (TN) Collins, Susan M. (ME) Murkowski, Lisa (AK) Graham, Lindsey (SC) Blunt, Roy (MO) Moran, Jerry (KS) Hoeven, John (ND) Boozman, John (AR) Capito, Shelley Moore (WV) Kennedy, John (LA) Hyde-Smith, Cindy (MS) Daines, Steve (MT) Rubio, Marco (FL) Lankford, James (OK)
Democratic Members: Leahy, Patrick J. (VT), Ranking Member Murray, Patty (WA) Feinstein, Dianne (CA) Durbin, Richard J. (IL) Reed, Jack (RI) Tester, Jon (MT) Udall, Tom (NM) Shaheen, Jeanne (NH) Merkley, Jeff (OR) Coons, Christopher A. (DE) Schatz, Brian (HI) Baldwin, Tammy (WI) Murphy, Christopher (CT) Manchin, Joe (WV) Van Hollen, Chris (MD)
- Contact LE&RN Washington Representative Peter Herzog at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 544-7499.
- Peter will provide you with the e-mail address for the appropriate staffer in your Senator’s DC office, OR he will take your note and personal information and e-mail the Senator’s staffer directly with a group request including other advocates from your state.
- Use the draft note below to e-mail the staff person and connect with them over the time-sensitive request to establish a dedicated lymphatic disease program at CDC. Feel free to add a brief personal story explaining why you are a community advocate.
Action steps for all other activists:
- Identify your two Senators by going to www.Senate.gov and selecting the “Senators” tab and then clicking on “Contact.”
- Reach out to the DC offices of both Senators (the 202 number) and ask to speak with or get the email of the Health Legislative Assistant (LA) who handles healthcare issues for the Senator.
- Use the script below to leave a voice mail message or to send an e-mail to the Health LA.
Dear [Health LA],
My name is [Your Name] and I am a constituent from [Your State] as well as an advocate for the lymphatic disease community. I write you today to ask that your office please support the community’s request to establish a $500,000 lymphatic disease education and awareness program at CDC through the FY 2020 Senate LHHS Appropriations Bill. Lymphatic diseases can be serious and sometimes costly conditions that can lead to negative health outcomes. Please work to ensure that the CDC improves its provider education and public awareness in this area through dedicated programmatic activity.
Thank you for your time and your consideration of this request.